Sovereignty / Edition 1

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Sovereignty is at the very centre of the political and legal arrangements of the modern world. The idea originated in the controversies and wars, both religious and political, of 16th and 17th century Europe and since that time it has continued to spread and evolve. Today sovereignty is a global system of authority: it extends across all religions, civilizations, languages, cultures, ethnic and racial groupings, and other collectivities into which humanity is divided.

In this highly accessible book, Robert Jackson provides a concise and comprehensive introduction to the history and meaning of sovereignty. Drawing on a wide range of examples from the US Declaration of Independence to terrorist attacks of 9/11 he shows how sovereignty operates in our daily lives and analyses the issues raised by its universality and centrality in the organization of the world. The book covers core topics such as the discourse of sovereignty, the global expansion of sovereignty, the rise of popular sovereignty, and the relationship between sovereignty and human rights. It concludes by examining future challenges facing sovereignty in an era of globalization.

This interdisciplinary study will be of interest to a wide range of students, academics and general readers who seek to understand this fundamental concept of the modern world.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A strong, coherent and logical narrative ... Its lucid andcogent approach makes it highly useful to those new to the subjectand its substantial arguments will stimulate those who are moreadvanced.”
International Affairs

“Sovereignty is a systematic survey of the history of anidea. It accomplishes the ambitious task of untangling the oftenconflated concepts of authority, supremacy, independence and powerfrom sovereignty. As such, it is a must-have for researchers andteachers concerned with understanding the development ofindependent, sovereign states.”
David A. Armstrong, Nuffield College, Oxford

“Sovereignty is the great survivor among modern politicalconcepts. Its death – and the retreat of the State andsociety of states that it supports – have often beenforetold. Yet they persist. In this penetrating and elegantlywritten book Robert Jackson explains why. It will be indispensablereading for all students of politics and internationalrelations.”
James Mayall, Centre of International Studies,Cambridge

“Historically grounded and philosophically rich,Jackson’s examination of sovereignty will take a deservedplace among the primary works on this foundational concept ofinternational politics. In illustrating how the practices andinstitutions of sovereignty retain their vitality, he alsodemonstrates the freshness and cogency of his ownthought.”
David Clinton, Baylor University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745623375
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 10/28/2007
  • Series: Polity Key Concepts in the Social Sciences Series
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 500,887
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.55 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Jackson is Professor of International Relations and Political Science at Boston University.

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Table of Contents


Chapter 1 Sovereignty and Modernity.

Manifestations of Sovereignty.

Sovereignty and Modernity.

Independence and Supremacy.

Power, Authority, Responsibility.

The Discourse of Sovereignty.

Chapter 2 'A Shocking Idea'.

Europe before Sovereignty.

Respublica Christiana.

The Revolution of Sovereignty.

Chapter 3 Sovereigns of Europe and the World.

The Great Transformation.

The Divine Right of Kings.

Dynastic Sovereignty.

Western Empires.

Imperial Sovereignty.

Chapter 4 Popular Sovereignty.

In the Name of the People.

Parliamentary Sovereignty.

Democratic Sovereignty.

Totalitarian Sovereignty.

National Self-Determination.

Territorial Sovereignty.

The End of Sovereignty?.

Chapter 5 Sovereignty and Humanity.

Protecting Human Rights.

Humanity Discourse.

Human Rights, Human Wrongs, and Sovereign States.

Human Rights under International Law.

Humanitarian Intervention.

Chapter 6 Sovereignty and Globalization.

9/11 and the State.

The Globalization Thesis.

The Sovereign States System.

Presuppositions of a States System.

Between Past and Future

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